Crispy Coconut Chicken Salad!

Happy Saturday to you! It has been SO cold here, I am becoming increasingly ready for spring. I’m tired of wearing a hat, gloves, and a scarf everywhere I go!!!!!! Not to mention the fact that my long runs are quite miserable when it’s so cold out. WHEW. Rant over, haha!

Cold weather aside, I have been staying with my half marathon training plan very well and so far have only missed a couple of workouts over the course of 4 weeks. In addition, I’ve lost 3 lbs. Yaaay! I do have a long run scheduled for tomorrow, but with a high of 28 degrees no way Jose! I will be doing intervals instead on the treadmill, thank you very much.

Lately I have started reading The Joy of Half a Cookie by Jean Kristeller, which is on cultivating a healthy relationship with food. A few of my posts have touched on this, that I have really never had a good relationship with food. It’s either avoid food I can’t control myself around, or binge. There seems to be no middle ground for me, and that is NOT healthy at all. This book has definitely been an eye opener and I will be doing a review once I finish it (which at the rate I’m going will be in less than a week!).

The other night Garrett and I wanted to fix something for dinner that required little to no work but was tasty, so we came up with this baby.

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Fried buffalo shrimp salad. We pretty much just threw together what we had in the fridge/freezer. Fried shrimp tossed in buffalo sauce, over mixed veggies with cheese and ranch dressing. YUM!

In other news, I have still been breezing through the Skinnytaste cookbook, and came upon another gem. This crispy coconut chicken salad:

Yes, it tastes even better than it looks. It satisfied my craving for fried food, without the frying! The coconut mixed with the bite in the honey mustard vinaigrette is to die for. Plus, my husband who is a self proclaimed meat-a-tarian  thoroughly enjoyed it.

Crispy Coconut Chicken Salad

  • spinach & romaine lettuce (or whatever greens you like)
  • shredded carrots
  • sliced cucumber
  • halved grape tomatoes
  • 8 chicken tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp crushed cornflakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 4 tsp white vinegar

Preheat oven to 325. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Mix coconut, bread crumbs, cornflakes, and salt in a shallow bowl. Dip each tenderloin in egg whites, and then place in coconut mixture and coat well on each side, and place on cookie sheet. Spray the top of each tenderloin with cooking spray, and place in the oven. Cook 15 minutes, then flip each tenderloin and cook another 15 minutes or until done. To make dressing, stir together mustard, oil, honey, and vinegar. Assemble veggies on plates, and top each plate with 2 tenderloins, sliced diagonally. Warm dressing in microwave for a few seconds, and spoon some on each salad. BOOM. You have a super delicious salad with very little work at all! 🙂

I ate this salad as a wrap as well, and it was awesome! Enjoy!

 

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Lately…

Happy Saturday everyone!

Half Marathon training has been going well for the most part. I had to rearrange my runs a lot this week due to the truly awful weather we’ve been having! 70 degrees and sunny one day, 30 degrees and snowing the next. Welcome to North Carolina, haha!

That being said I did get in a great 2 miles this morning!

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It was clear and bright, and cold!

Lately my favorite breakfast has been boiled eggs, berries, and honey.

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As the scale has not moved down in quite a while, I have been trying to cut down my calories a bit in breakfast. In addition, I am totally cutting out snacking after dinner. The rest of the day I am great at making healthy choices. But once dinner is over, it’s like my brain goes “Hey, let’s eat the rest of what’s in the house. Whaddya say?!” So I am shutting that DOWN. After my run, I did a quick 10 Minute Abs 21 day Fix video, and MAN that had my abs burning!!!

After my workout, I had a pineapple green smoothie!

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My lastest obsession: coconut water. Yeah I know I’m late to the party, but seriously they make smoothies taste SO much better! It adds flavor and plenty of healthy goodies like potassium!

Have a healthy happy weekend y’all! 🙂

Maple Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl and Yoga!

Happy Monday!

Yesterday I got in a blissful 5 mile run in sunny 60 degree weather. Winter, I will never miss you. Then this morning I did some yoga to try and stretch out my muscles from that run! I did this one for my hamstrings, and this one to help stretch out my lower back. Those are the parts of me that are always tight after a run, or just in general!

After my yoga I decided to make a breakfast experiment. I had leftover quinoa sitting in my fridge for a couple of days and I was wracking my brain trying to think of what to do with it… and this experiment turned out extremely delicious and filling! Plus it helps with a sweet tooth when I really want pancakes or waffles… which are ok too!

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Maple Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • handful of blueberries
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 1 tbsp slivered almonds

Mix quinoa with syrup and cinnamon, then put in microwave and heat until warmed through. Top with banana, blueberries, and almonds. That’s it!

This took me probably 2 minutes to make and kept me full for hours. I think this would be an exceptional pre workout breakfast since it’s got lots of carbs and healthy fats! Mine came to 317 calories. Yummm!

 

Kale and Quinoa Power Salad!

Happy Thursday everybody! This morning I got in a nice 3 mile run, and I’ve noticed I’m running faster than I have in the last couple weeks. Yaaaay for progress! Plus this morning’s temperature of 36 actually felt warm compared to my runs lately.

Today for my lunch at work I didn’t have a whole lot of options in my fridge of already prepared food (which is what I usually eat) so I had to get a little creative, and I’m so glad I did! I made this amazing salad, full of superfoods that kept me full for hours, and gave me tons of vitamins!

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This salad has: kale, carrots, blueberries, almonds, and quinoa. I can’t even BEGIN to list all the health benefits of each of those. Together they made a delicious and quick lunch that is very portable, and easy to take to work or school for lunch!

Kale and Quinoa Power Salad

  • 1/2 cup prepared quinoa (just follow directions on box, and cool)
  • about 2 cups kale, torn into small pieces with stems removed
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup blueberries

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp water

To make dressing, combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a jar and keep in the fridge- this makes enough for several salads so you have leftovers! Pour about 1 tbsp of dressing on kale and massage it for a couple of minutes, this will break down the kale and make it more tender. Place in fridge for about 15 minutes and allow to marinate. Then put the rest of your salad ingredients together and add more dressing if desired. Enjoy! 🙂

This salad was very filling for me, and when I eat things like kale I feel like I have superpowers because I know it’s so good for my body. This is not, however, a low calorie salad. Mine came to about 500, but it’s calories filled with nutrients my body needs to keep going!

Chicken Pasta Caprese!

A couple nights ago my husband made the Skinnytaste recipe for Chicken Pasta Caprese. Out of all the recipes in the cookbook so far that we have tried, this one tastes the least skinny!

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It’s absolutely to die for and probably one of my favorite pasta dishes I have ever made. Melty cheese with pasta, tomatoes and chicken? Yum! And it’s only 400 calories per serving! This would even be good with a side salad. And if you want to kick the nutrition up a notch you can use whole wheat pasta! We made it with regular pasta shells, but you can use just about any kind. We actually doubled the recipe so we would have leftovers to eat on all week, and it only tasted better the next day!

Chicken Pasta Caprese

  • 1 lb chicken breasts cut into bite size cubes
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 9 oz pasta
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
  • 4 oz part skim mozzarella, cut into cubes

Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Season chicken with dried basil, salt & pepper. Spray pan with cooking spray and cook chicken until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain. Heat large frying pan to high and add olive oil and garlic, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds – 1 minute. Do not burn, watch carefully. Add tomatoes, salt & pepper and reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring, until tomatoes are tender (about 5 minutes). Add pasta to tomatoes, if this seems too dry you can add a little water. Add chicken and toss. Remove from heat, and stir in fresh basil and mozzarella. Enjoy! 🙂

Beef and Broccoli Lightened Up!

This morning I had strength training on my schedule, so I did Jillian Michaels’ 6 Week 6 Pack video this morning! When training for long distance running, hitting your abs is extremely important to protect your back. I learned this the hard way as I used to only run and did no strength training whatsoever! You will inevitably end up with a lot more aches and pains than if you did strength training. After my video, I had some yummy chia pudding with fruit and some greek yogurt to add in a bit more protein!

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I am burnin’ through my new Skinnytaste cookbook, and loving every minute of it! I have a new recipe from this book today: Beef and Broccoli. I LOVE Chinese food, but it is often bad for you with tons of fat and sodium. I have never been good at making Chinese food at home, so only the simplest recipes seem to work for me. This one fit the bill, and is now one of my husband’s favorites!

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I served this with some brown rice and it was awesome. I have recently changed from white rice to brown rice mostly because it has more protein and fiber, and  also because I feel better when I eat brown rice rather than white, which is important!

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Beef and Broccoli Lightened Up (from Skinnytaste)

  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 lb sirloin steak, trimmed and thinly sliced against the grain
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 medium green onions cut into 1 inch pieces, white and greens separated
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce

In a shallow container, whisk cornstarch, 2 tsp soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and 1 tsp sesame oil. Season steak with salt and place meat in this mixture and allow to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. Boil broccoli for about 1 minute, or until bright green and slightly tender. Strain and rinse with cold water, set aside. Heat a large wok over high heat, add 1 tsp of oil and half the beef. Cook each side of the beef about 30 seconds and brown on all sides. Repeat with remaining meat and another tsp of oil. Set meat aside. Heat remaining tsp of oil in wok and add onion whites, garlic, and ginger cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broccoli, brown sugar, 3 tbsp soy sauce, and oyster sauce and cook for 30 seconds. Add beef and cook 30 seconds more, remove from heat and stir in onion greens.

Get ready for a yummy weeknight meal that requires very little time or work! Serve with rice if desired. 🙂

Banana Nut Oat Muffins and a Run!

Good morning! Here it has been SUPER cold (at least cold for North Carolina), but I have been keeping up my running anyway, as you can see.

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I came back home from my 3 mile run yesterday and realized I couldn’t feel my arms… or my legs… or my torso… so yeah, winter totally sucks in my book! After my run I had a greek yogurt fruit parfait and a delicious banana nut oat muffin though, which is the recipe I am sharing today!

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These muffins are moist, sweet, and very filling. Not to mention they are only 162 calories a piece! Normally I put butter or peanut butter on banana bread, but these have tons of flavor and really don’t need a thing on them at all! Also I’d like to mention, this recipe uses white whole wheat flour. Am I the only one that didn’t know that was a thing?! Apparently it has all the health benefits of whole wheat but bakes up almost like all purpose. Amazing right?!

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Banana Nut Oat Muffins (from Skinnytaste with modifications)

  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (this was 2 1/2 bananas for me)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Pour oats and almond milk into a large bowl and stir, let sit for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F (I did 375F because my pan is dark) and line with 12 cupcake liners that are lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Add brown sugar, banana, egg whites, honey, oil, and vanilla to oats and stir. In a medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients together. Then pour this mixture gradually into your oat mixture, and stir only until incorporated. Do not overmix. Pour batter into liners, and bake 22-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before eating, as the texture changes!

I stored 6 of these in my refrigerator (because baked goods with banana tend to go bad quickly on the counter), and froze the other 6 to eat later. These are really delicious, and super filling with 2.5g of fiber and 4g of protein per muffin. I have been eating these for breakfast, and afternoon snacks too.

Enjoy, and have a happy healthy day! 🙂